Financial Inclusion in Action

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Competition in the Kenyan Digital Finance Market: Digital Credit (Part 2 of 3)

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This is the second blog in a three part series, which compares digital financial service offerings in Kenya. The first blog focused on mobile money services and this second one delves into mobile banking services, focusing on digital credit.  These are certainly the most complicated but also the most exciting services given their potential to deepen financial inclusion… Continue reading

The Bricks and Mortar of Agent Networks: Training and Support in India

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While the first blog in this series explained how Indian Government mandates have determined the current character of the digital finance services (DFS) market in India, this blog is more forward looking, focusing on addressing issues of agent training and support.  The 2015 ANA India data shows that these are areas where providers are struggling, and are therefore also opportunities… Continue reading

Training, Monitoring & Support – Necessary Or An Opportunity To Cut Costs?

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While only 27% of agent network managers receive good support and involvement from the banks for which they are providing services, another 55%  do say that they receive moderate support, as per MicroSave’s recent State of the Industry Report 2015 on India note. The India 2015 ANA survey results enable us to understand this further by… Continue reading

Opportunities for Equitel to Disrupt Digital Finance in Kenya

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Equity Bank’s introduction of the thin SIM under the Equitel brand is an important development for the Kenyan financial market as it brings customers more choice in terms of providers, and will hopefully push product innovation further in a market that has had trouble evolving beyond payments.  We believe that to really make digital finance… Continue reading

Reducing Friction To Succeed

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A wage labourer from Bihar, India, swipes a metro rail card, as he runs to catch a train to a construction site he works at in Delhi. A mother enters a few digits on her Equitel mobile phone to pay the monthly school fee of her daughter in remote Eldoret, Kenya. A small shop owner outside of Pokhara, Nepal,… Continue reading

Digital Financial Inclusion In India – A Long Road To Take-Off?

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The history of India’s efforts to achieve digital financial inclusion has been diverse, but largely top-down. These efforts have produced a mixture of RBI regulations and advices for banks, and government policies and directives. Most recently, the RBI provided guidelines for differentiated banks (Payments and Small Finance Banks) specifically designed to deepen outreach and enhance… Continue reading

Agent Networks In India – How Mandates Have Influenced the Landscape

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There is a key difference in how the Digital Financial Services (DFS) market in India has evolved when compared to other countries. While in most countries the expansion of DFS along with agent networks has been driven by profit, the growth of DFS in India has essentially been the result of government mandates. The mandates… Continue reading

Thoughts on DFS in “Europe Minus Infrastructure” – DRC!

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“Europe minus infrastructure”? This was the term that James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Group, used in an Equity Group briefing when describing and explaining Equity Banks’ move into DRC by purchasing ProCredit Bank Congo.  I have been thinking about which country might be the following some of the leading digital financial services (DFS) countries like… Continue reading

More Sophisticated Agent Networks Signal a Maturing Digital Finance Industry

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Agents are critical to the customer experience of digital money services because they represent the first and most tangible service touch points for most end users. Agent networks are also probably the most operationally burdensome and costly element of the digital financial service value chain, typically costing anywhere between 40 and 80 percent of revenues generated from… Continue reading

In Our Digital Financial Service We Trust?

“We keep hearing mobile money users complain about unstable network, delayed service, missing money and many other negative comments about mobile money. Why then should we register for these services?” After years of preoccupation with over-coming the core challenges of establishing large-scale, sustainable digital finance (largely mobile money) systems in developing countries, we are seeing… Continue reading